Dumbbell as play object? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
View Poll Results: what do you use to reward the retrieve?
I use the dumbbell as the only reward / play object 1 8.33%
I use a toy / food reward only 5 41.67%
I use a mixture of both 5 41.67%
Other (please do explain in your post) 2 16.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Dumbbell as play object?

I'm just curious. How many of you use the dumbbell as a play object after the dog has learned the basics of the retrieve and holding?

Do you use primarily the dumbbell as a play object / reward? For example, in the Balabanov DVD's you see him sometimes having the dog bring to front, settle in, out him, then give release and use it as a tug. Do you do something similar? If not, why not?

Otherwise, maybe you use a ball / tug as a reward? Do you always have the dog bring all the way, sit and hold (even for a second), then release? Or do you maybe throw the toy between your legs as the dog is coming around and let him drop it on his own?

Otherwise, maybe some of you use just food?

I'm just curious how you bring drive and speed into the retrieve. As some of you know, I was having some issues with the retrieve and we finally got it worked out. Now I'm curious about rewarding.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 05:59 PM
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Hmm, good question. I have not introduced it yet so I am no help sorry.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 07:22 PM
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I use food, tug or ball toss. And I change up my toys often so they hold higher value.
Karlo will tug with the dumbbell and we've tried to use it as the reward, but he doesn't like to tug with it so much. I did train the retrieve with pressure so that may play into it.

He also will not always drop it if I throw food or a ball behind me as he comes in(to increase his speed on the return) because I trained him in his early foundation not to drop it until I outed him.
I don't make him formally come in very often, randomize it with the toy toss behind me, or the target plate(cottage cheese container lid) with food. I have him come in like a front and at the last second turn sideways and say "ok get it" to get the reward on the plate. If I do have him come in formally, I don't always have him out it. I may heel him or out from the side. I just randomize it, try to make it fun. I want him to enjoy bringing it as much as he enjoys going out to get it.
We started using target plates and a 'race' game to get some speed in the return. He goes out great, but returning is not so fast. Though last night we set up three low jumps and had him retrieve over those, he was fast on pickup and return! He loves to jump.

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 03-29-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 08:12 PM
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I actually free shaped the dumbbell work with clicker, and taught the jumps using food reward targets and a clicker (obviously a lot more to it).
Right now, I am VERY happy with our retrieves.

If interested, google Shirley Chong clicker retrieve or check out Louise Jollyman's clicker retrieve article.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 08:14 PM
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I rewarded with food all through the teaching and have just started with a ball reward to maintain his enthusiasm, now that he knows what to do.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 08:35 PM
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The dumbbell is never a toy or a reward. I use food, toy, or praise, sometimes all three in one session, depending on the day, the dog and what I am doing in their training.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 08:43 PM
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Dumbbell is never a reward for us, just a neutral object (and I can throw a different toy, shoe, glove, whatever and do a retrieve). I mostly shape the retrieve with food and toys. Pan needed some compulsion to shape the correct hold behavior but that literally took about 5 minutes and once I made it clear what I wanted, we never had to go back to compulsion. I shaped his retrieve and dumbbell pickup using a flyball pushboard.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I shaped his retrieve and dumbbell pickup using a flyball pushboard.
You might be the only one doing that - definitely thinking outside the box!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycobraracr View Post
Hmm, good question. I have not introduced it yet so I am no help sorry.
I taught my dog to pick up socks and bring them to me, very early on. She got the idea that carrying something to me in her mouth equals a reward. Every time I enter the house she is waiting for me and I give her something to carry. Initially this was my wallet, and she would follow me into the kitchen, push the wallet into my hands and I would reward her. I use this scenario when I want to introduce something new to her. For example when I started tracking, I used a leather glove as the article, so she got the leather glove as the "carry" item every time I entered the house. Similarly when I got the dumbbell (about 3 weeks ago) the dumbbell was what I gave her each time. Initially she wouldn't take it directly from me so I put it on the floor and she would lift it (sometimes by the end) and bring it to me. I rubbed some hotdog on the center bar after which she quickly figured out that was the part that goes in her mouth.

So it was a longish (and somewhat unintentional) progression from soft sock to 640g dumbbell but very easy.


I don't use it as a reward at all, I always reward her bringing it to me though.
The Tug toy and/or treat is her normal reward.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
The dumbbell is never a toy or a reward. I use food, toy, or praise, sometimes all three in one session, depending on the day, the dog and what I am doing in their training.
I am only using a dowel for now (my boy is 10 months), but this is how he is trained.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Dumbbell is never a reward for us, just a neutral object. I shaped his retrieve and dumbbell pickup using a flyball pushboard.
Same here. Well, I want it to be a neutral object and I plan on using the pushboard for Kastle's pickup as well. It makes it nice, tight and clean. Plus, he already knows how to do it properly
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